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Photos: Ferrari Challenge

It's spring, and that means one thing at CNET Car Tech: the Ferraris are coming. The North American Ferrari Challenge Series comes to the Infineon Raceway in Northern California around this time every year. The Challenge Series is designed to let Ferrari owners get some racetrack time and serves as a general weekend festival for Ferrari fans. This year, the Challenge Series features races with F430 Challenge cars, historic Ferraris, and a special guest.

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CNET Reviews staff
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While the F430 Challenges and other random Ferraris around are pretty spectacular, the star of this year's event was the Ferrari FXX. Ferrari has built 29 of these cars, and they are considered to be in development. Ferrari is taking feedback about the cars from the few lucky people chosen by the company to own this new supercar.
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What really made this Challenge event special is that there were six FXXes on hand, representing just over a fifth of the cars in existence. At about $2 million per car, that's a lot of automotive dollars lined up here.
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The FXX is not road legal and is only intended for track use. Ferrari sponsors a number of events throughout the year where the FXX can be driven, and owners can use them in private track events. Ferrari provides a team of technicians not only to maintain each car, but to gather data about its performance.
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Although a two-seater, the FXXes come race-prepped with a roll cage and a fire-suppression system.
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Bridgestone developed custom 19-inch slicks for the FXX, and Brembo developed a new brake system for the ceramic discs.
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The aerodynamic design of the FXX gives the car a 40 percent increase in downforce compared to the previous Ferrari supercar, the Enzo, according to Ferrari. The FXX doesn't use rearview mirrors, instead relying on a camera mounted to the roof and an LCD in the cabin.
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There are few things more beautiful than a Ferrari engine. The FXX uses a 6.3-liter V-12 that puts out more than 800 horsepower at 8,500rpm. The FXX has a power-to-weight ratio of 3.18 pounds per horsepower.
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The FXX uses an LCD instead of traditional instrument gauges. Paddles for shifting the gears of the F1-style transmission are mounted to the steering column.
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Ferrari also brought along a few F1 cars to the Challenge event. This one has just come in from the racetrack. The crew will remove the wheels, the steering wheel, and the body panels over the engine for post-race maintenance.
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Laptops are a common sight in the garage, where telemetry data is downloaded from the cars so technicians can check its performance.
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Owners are also invited to bring historic racers to the Challenge event. This 1979 512 BB/LM was designed as a racer for Le Mans. It's powered by a 5-liter V-12 putting out 500 horsepower. Only 25 of these cars were built.
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The races with the F430 Challenges are the main event of the Challenge series. The F430 Challenge is a version of the F430 built specifically for the racetrack. It's the first Ferrari to use ceramic discs for the brakes, and its suspension is modified from the F430 for better racetrack performance.

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